Do you know the full extent of the physiological impact of the OCP?
I see a lot of women who are on the Oral Contraceptive Pill (OCP) or other form of hormone treatment, including implants or injections. Whether these women are on OCP for contraception, skin or ‘hormonal balancing’, they are often aware that it ‘isn’t ideal’ and carries some risks but, for now, they’ve decided the pros outweigh the cons. I really feel reluctant to make more difficult a sometimes already difficult decision with these women and I always respect people’s autonomy and choices. So whenever possible I support them naturopathically in light of the impact it is likely to have on their nutrition & physiology.
Then there are occasions when I look at their pathology results and put it together with their symptoms and realise that the ‘danger signs’ are flashing and the OCP is not playing nicely with their unique biochemistry.
Women’s responses to the OCP are not one-size fits all! Apart from the fact that there are multiple combination OCPs available with varying ingredients and actions, we know that each individual can respond to the same formula differently based on a range of factors we might not completely be aware of until they start taking it.
For example, all oestrogen (whether natural, synthetic or bio-identical) causes mobilisation of copper from the liver. So when we see blood copper levels rise following OCP initiation, it’s not because these women are suddenly absorbing or being exposed to more, rather it’s as a result of the liver dumping a large proportion of the copper that it previously stored. The question is – how much did you have just waiting to be dumped? What are the consequences of elevated copper? Apart from the significant increase in oxidative stress and the jump in glycosylated haemoglobin, disproportionately high copper can impact mental health? What about its additional effects on that woman’s particular clotting risk, hormone binding levels, stress, and other inflammatory markers?
I don’t have to dig deep into patient records to find scores of women who have had numerous imbalances, from hair loss, mood swings, loss of libido to cervical cell abnormalities.
Some women know that the OCP does not ‘agree’ with them, but many more don’t connect its affect on their physiology with the symptoms they are experiencing.
So whether you wish to remain on the OCP or stop it, natural medicine can help balance out the effects or minimize the detrimental physiological and psychological impacts.
To arrange a thorough health assessment, call True Medicine on 07 5530 1863.